Colchester, St Botolph's Priory

St Botolph's Priory - Exterior view of the first Augustian priory in England

Free Entry

Open any reasonable time during daylight hours


Priory Street, Colchester, Essex CO2 7EE

Before You Go

Founded about 1100, St Botolph's was one of the first Augustinian priories in England .

An impressive example of early Norman architecture, built in flint and reused Roman brick, the church displays massive circular pillars, round arches and an elaborate west front.

It was badly damaged by cannon fire during the Civil War siege of 1648.

Read more about the history of the priory.

Managed by Colchester Borough Council - visit their museum website for more ideas on exploring Colchester's fascinating history.

Before You Go

Parking: No parking on site but charged public parking, not managed by English Heritage, is available close by. The nearest is Britannia Car Park, off St Botolph's Circus, CO2 7EF.

How to Find It: The site can be accessed from Priory Street, St Botolph's Church Walk or Britannia Car Park.

Facilities: There are no facilities at the priory, but it is just on the edge of Colchester town centre and very close to Colchester Town railway station. There are toilets at the station.

Dogs: Dogs on leads are welcome.

Plan a Great Day Out

Colchester is also home to the remains of another medieval religious house at St John's Abbey Gate, just a few minutes' walk away from St Botolph's Priory.

Also in Colchester are the Iron Age defences of pre-Roman Colchester at Lexden Earthworks and Bluebottle Grove.

Head towards the coast and visit Landguard Fort, a 45-minute drive from Colchester.  This impressive safe haven defended the approach to Harwich Harbour, and was the site of the last opposed seaward invasion of England by the Dutch in 1667.

Your support helps in so many ways

Your membership provides valuable support for our essential work, while you can enjoy free access to the beauty and inspiration of our magnificent historic places. 


About us

English Heritage cares for over 400 historic buildings, monuments and places - from world-famous prehistoric sites to grand medieval castles, from Roman forts on the edges of empire to a Cold War bunker. Through these, we bring the story of England to life for over 10 million people each year. The English Heritage Trust is a charity, no. 1140351, and a company, no. 0744722, registered in England.

How We Are Funded

Our target is to become completely self-funding by 2023. Our confidence in achieving this is based on our track record. During the past 10 years, our commercial income has doubled and we have raised nearly £60m in donated income.

  • 66% Self-generated income
  • 20% One off capital grant
  • 14% Government funding
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